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Celebrate 50 Years of Epiphone's Classic Casino!
Epiphone brings back the first Casino in celebration of it's 50th anniversary - the Limited Edition 50th Anniversary 1961 Casino TDV with Tremotone vibrato. The new 1961 Anniversary Casino has many features that were discontinued after the first year of production. The result is a classic thatwill be both familiar and totally new even to Casino lovers like Paul McCartney, Paul Weller, Liam Gallagher and Keith Richards.
Classic Vintage Styling and Unique Features
Introduced in 1961, the original Casino had unique features that ultimately were never offered beyond that first year. These include the pre-Gibson era triangle metal logo badge on the headstock, dot fingerboard inlays, a blank two-ply bullet trussrod cover, a tortoise-colored pickguard with foil "E", and black dog-ear P-90 pickups. Epiphone has faithfully reproduced these features for a one-of-a-kind retro look not found on Casinos produced after 1961. Other attention to detail includes the correct "burst" patterns on front and back, a neck joint at the 16th fret (instead of the 17th), Wilkinson™ vintage-style tuners with small plastic buttons, and the historically accurate rectangle "blue label" inside the sound hole.
Original Premium Electronics
No detail of the original ’61 Casino has been missed. Since the original Casinos incorporated parts and electronics from the Gibson factory, the 1961 Anniversary Casino has followed the same philosophy. Epiphone has recreated the original black P-90s using a Gibson USA P-90R dog-ear pickup for neck position and a Gibson USA P-90T at the bridge. Widely known as Gibson's first successful single-coil pickup, these lean and mean P-90's offer a stellar combination of high output and biting treble response. They also feature vintage two-conductor, braided, shielded wiring and black plastic covers. Other electronics faithful to the original Casino include a Switchcraft™ 3-way toggle and 1/4" output jack.
Quality Construction, Hardware and Add-ons
Unlike an ES-335, the Casino is completely hollow which contributes to its unique, signature sound made most famous by the Beatles. The body is made of 5-layer Maple/Birch with a solid Mahogany SlimTaper™ neck. Hardware includes a Tune-O-Matic bridge and Epiphone's new reissue of the original Tremotone™ vibrato. To top it all off, each 1961 Casino features an original-style hard case with gray exterior and blue plush interior and a numbered certificate of authenticity.
The Casino Story
For the Epiphone Company of 1961, the Casino was a small breakthrough. After the merger with Gibson in 1957, Epiphone no longer made jazz archtops. A new era of music had arrived. Epiphone has made a name for itself by producing some of the greatest and most innovative musical instruments for over 135 years. While models such as Masterbilts, Broadways, Wilshires, Coronets, Emperors and Texans are some of Epiphone's most memorable models, the Casino is arguably the most famous due to it's close association with the Beatles. The introduction of the Casino was a modern design that merged Epiphone’s history with the best of Gibson electronics. Though from a distance it had the look of an ES-335, the Casino was a true hollowbody, giving players a clear, ringing tone that could be pushed into overdrive when needed. It was an ideal guitar for stage and studio and can be heard on many landmark recordings of the 20th Century including The Beatles’ “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” and The Beach Boy’s “Pet Sounds.” By 1964, the Beatles were stars and when Paul McCartney went shopping for a new guitar that would feed back, he reached for a Casino. John Lennon and George Harrison soon bought their own and used their Casinos on stage and at Abbey Road throughout the band’s career. Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys, Paul Weller of the Jam, and Liam Gallagher of Oasis are just a few of the players who made great records with Casinos.
As with every Epiphone, it also comes with the peace of mind you get from a Limited Lifetime Warranty backed by Gibson Musical Instruments famous 24/7/265 day Customer Service. Limited Production - Get One While You Can! Production records indicate that only 176 Casino TD's (trapeze) and 153 Casino TDV's (Tremotone) were made in 1961 so if you happen to have an original, you not only have a very rare instrument but a valuable one as well. Today, originals sell for $5,000 or more depending upon condition.
So if you don't own one, now's your chance! But don't wait too long. Epiphone is only making a total of 1,961 Anniversary Casinos and once they're gone... they're gone!
Reviewed by 2 customers
Displaying reviews 1-2
I was initially surprised by several behaviors of this guitar. The 'fully hollow' body makes less sonic difference than I thought it would compared to several semi-hollows I own - but the very noticible difference was the WEIGHT. I could wear this thing all day. The output is much lower than I expected, not in a bad way, in fact the sound is great...it just requires rethinking all my amp set-ups from any other guitar. In particular the bridge pickup stands out as being very noticibly demure. I am looking into possibly putting a spacer under it to lift it closer to the strings. In the meantime I'll turn up a bit.
Between the pickups, the tremolo and the fantastic case, you cannot beat this package. Adding that there'll only be 1961 total units made, ever, ensuring it's collectability status down the road, made it an unpassable deal for me.
I'll admit there were two minor issues I addressed when I first changed the strings (to 11's, it came with 9's or 10's which were a little light for my taste). I had to scrape what looked like entrapped rosewood sawdust schmutz off a few fret's length of fingerboard binding, and do a little light sand and polish on the fingerboard itself to even out some shiny blotches, but those were only cosmetic niggles. Overall the fit and assembly and parts used seems very high quality. Setup is great, even after changing to the 11 gague strings no adjustment was necessary. I truly love the vibrato too. All the smoothness of a Bigsby but with easy string changes. Worth mentioning, the rosewood block the trem is made of is totally raw, giving what some might consider an unfinished appearance. Perhaps that's how they were produced back in 1961, but it does look a bit odd in my opinion when the rest of the guitar is so polished and refined. I coinsidered varinshing it, but think i will try a little oil instead - if it continues to bother me - or I may come to like it as is....better play it more first!
It's a little more than a 'regular' casino which has import pickups/wiring and no case. The next closest thing with comparable specs is the Elitist which costs quite a bit more.
Compared to over three grand for a Gibson 330, or even 1800 for an Elitist Casino, this is an incredible value any way you look at it. If you can get your hands on one, it's a no-brainer.
I just got mine yesterday. The sunburst is very nice looking...much darker and classier looking than the standard MIC Casinos. Seems like it's put together well, no strange finish anomalies like my regular Casino. The case is really cool, totally vintage look. I like the thick headstock and the Kluson tuners, although I still might replace them for something better. I don't know what it is about the vintage style Klusons...they always seem to be hard to fine tune. As with most any other new guitar, you'll find that the nut is a little too high. I did find a little stray glue spot on my fret board, and the fret work seems to be a little less nice than the standard Casinos (which seems strange to me)...nothing a "supertune" won't fix. The frets seem to be a little less fat than the standard...and the neck definitely feels different due to the different radius...also not a bad thing, just a little different. The Gibson P-90s and upgraded switching will knock your socks off. The tone is incredible...the neck pickup is totally thick and bassy, but with the extremely pronounced attack that you want to hear from a Casino, and the neck pickup has the perfect midrange honk that will make you want to pluck out some Beatles or Chuck Berry tunes. I can't say enough about how perfect the tone is from this guitar...just incredible. All that said, the tremotone tremolo arm seems a little flimsy to me, but I'm not sure if it can be adjusted to be tighter, so time will tell on that one.